Richard V. Foster-CAP Volunteer of the Month-January 2021
For Richard V. Foster, the road to legal practice was long and winding. In the mid-nineties, he worked as a paramedic responding to 911 calls. His life was transformed forever after one fateful call. Richard suffered an injury that left him permanently disabled. After this life altering moment, he changed his career to become a real estate broker. He quickly realized that he could not provide many straight forward services to his clients because he was not licensed to practice law. Thus, he decided to return to school again, this time to the William S. Boyd School of Law.
Richard became involved with Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada during his first year of law school at the 7th Annual Community Law Day for a record sealing event. Later that year, he taught public Guardianship classes. By his second and third year of law school, Richard was actively involved in the Boyd/LACSN Pro Bono Partners Program assisting in three cases. Upon passing the bar, Richard took on his first Children’s Attorney Project (CAP) case, and has not looked back since. Richard has been representing children in their CAP cases ever since.
Richard experienced fist-hand the need to have an advocate on your side. He was raised in an abusive home. After running away when he was 16 years old, he lived in the community of Love Creek in the Santa Cruz area in California. In 1982, the area endured a major flood and the house where he was living was destroyed by a massive mud slide. After losing his home, he lived under a bridge where a California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer found him and directed him to a Red Cross shelter. The volunteers provided him with food, clothing, and a bed to sleep in, and even found a place for his dog. Richard states from that time forward, he always found something to volunteer for, as his way of saying thank you and offering his appreciation to all those who helped him. This is why pro bono work is so dear to him.
When asked about a memorable client, Richard recalled a client he was assigned to during a sealing event in 2016. He said the client had run through a number of other staff and volunteers at the event, complaining about everyone and everything. When Richard was asked to take over guiding the client through the process, he ended up spending over six hours with him. Richard states that despite all the fighting and complaining, when the day was over, the client walked away with a completely sealed record. Multiple felonies and misdemeanors were removed from public view. Richard realized at that moment what a profound and positive change to people’s lives he could make through the legal profession.
Richard states that all CAP cases are memorable because he is doing his best to advocate and give a voice to these children, even under a system that sometimes appears broken beyond repair.
We are proud to have Richard on our side representing children in CAP cases. Richard’s selfless and compassionate dedication to children in need make him the great pro bono attorney he is today. We are pleased to name him our CAP volunteer of the month.